OnePlus lifted the curtain over its latest flagship offering, the OnePlus 9 Pro, back in March earlier this year. The phone was developed in partnership with Hasselblad. With this device, the brand attempted to join and compete with the flagships from brands like Samsung and Apple. Although, on the specifications front, the phone was right there with the flagships of any other brand. But performance-wise, there were quite a few shortcomings in the 9 Pro.
More than here being anything bad in the OnePlus flagship, it was more than its competitors have gotten much better. OnePlus still may look much more value for money and providing the premium smartphone using experience at a much lesser cost than its peers. But it does come at a cost. When put alongside devices like Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12, the Chinese smartphone giants do fall short.
Let’s have a look at 5 major shortcomings of the OnePlus 9 Pro:
The Phone is Hot. Literally
Upon heavy usage, every phone does get hot. Various manufacturers introduce certain mechanisms and features in order to not let the device get too hot, just like the fans and vents in gaming smartphones. But it’s not natural for smartphones to get hot on normal daily usage. And if for the phone one is paying about Rs. 69,999, then you definitely do not expect it to heat up on regular usage.
The overheating is getting quite annoying. And the fact that it blocks taking photos is frustrating in the moment. pic.twitter.com/L5eqU3hz7A
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) April 5, 2021
But that’s the issue with the OnePlus 9 Pro. Even on normal everyday phone usage, such as using the camera, the phone gets too hot. And it’s not just that it gets hot, but the software is designed such that upon getting hot enough, the phone shows on-screen messages in the camera app that the phone usage has to be stopped to let it cool.
Getting really tired of this. pic.twitter.com/h30dcIB8y1
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) April 6, 2021
This issue has not been universal and not faced by every user, but a large number of OnePlus 9 Pro owners have complained of this problem. The problem is expected to be related to the software as against earlier suggestions of it being linked to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888.
OnePlus is aware of these issues arising on its latest flagship and has even said it will be fixing this problem with a software update in the coming days. But how well does the software update solve this issue? Only time will tell.
The Hasselblad-powered camera setup of the OnePlus 9 Pro was the highlight and the major selling point for the OnePlus. And the collaboration does seem to be pretty good as the pictures from the device are quite good. But even then, the overall performance of the camera setup is mixed and not at all consistent.
The camera lacks the flair and finesse of other flagships from brands like Samsung and Apple. And when OnePlus prices its flagships at close to flagships of these brands, then there can be nothing expected to be lacking in performance.
There are some pictures that might even beat the best camera on any smartphone, but then there are also muddy shots and ruined fine textures in certain conditions. The camera is great; especially the Hasselblad collaboration helps immensely in improving under many conditions. But with the price at which it is sold and what others have to offer, the OnePlus 9 Pro, despite being powered by Hasselblad, falls short.
The moment you talk about OnePlus, the Red Charger cable with the heavy charging brick capable of providing lightning-fast charging speed is the first thing that comes to mind. And rightly so as from OnePlus One itself, the company heavily marketed on its charging capabilities.
This is no different even with the latest phone from the brand. But this time, the phone, despite coming with a 4500mAh battery, has disappointed several users when it comes to battery performance. It is not that the phone doesn’t deliver as it should at all. But the concern is that the performance is very inconsistent.
Upon tested specifically for the battery performance, the results have been very irregular, and despite similar usage, the phone lasts a different number of hours on two different days. This is concerning as a phone with such a huge and sharp display; the battery needs to be reliable in order to last one full day.
OnePlus also introduced the variable refresh rate, which can drop the refresh rate from the highs of 120Hz to 1Hz for viewing photos and reading text to 24Hz for watching movies. But despite this, the battery not living up to the mark is a really bad sign for the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Irregularity In Software Support
A huge plus when it comes to OnePlus over many other manufacturers not just from China but around the world is the brands clean and highly customizable OxygenOS. The OxygenOS is very similar to the stock Android experience making the phone very clean and free of bloatware. This is the reason users were immediate fans of the smartphone.
OnePlus not just provided a great and easy-to-use UI but also developed in partnership with Google leading to OnePlus devices being one of the first devices to receive the latest Android updates. But in the near past, things have changed.
OnePlus devices, especially the older models, have been very irregular in getting any kind of updates. This also includes major Android updates and also smaller security patch updates or bug fixes. OnePlus puts its majority attention to the latest flagships, and so the older models have been often left behind by the brand.
Just as the case has been with OnePlus 7 and 6 series devices which have received very late updates, and the ones they received were also filled with bugs that need another few updates for fixes. If users are spending such a huge sum of money, they would want to receive multi-year support from the company in return as well. This is something Samsung has very efficiently done, and OnePlus should also take a leaf from Samsung’s book in this aspect.
Positioning Of In-Display Fingerprint Reader
This might be something that most users will find very small and insignificant to even consider. But once you take the smartphone in hand and regularly use it, this problem will be faced more and more and becomes annoying as well.
The moment you take your phone in hand, you will look to unlock the device in order to use it. And OnePlus has provided the In-Display fingerprint scanner on OnePlus 9 Pro just like the previous flagships from the company.
But the difference and point of concern is the fact that the fingerprint reader is located very low on display. It is placed unusually low for most users, which makes it an additional effort for users just to unlock the device. The device is huge in size and so not easy to grip on. And on such a device, the scanner which users are going to use on every unlock has to be placed at a more convenient place as on this smartphone.
This is even more surprising to see on OnePlus 9 Pro because its predecessors, the OnePlus 8 and 8T series, had the fingerprint reader placed at the ideal location on the screen.
The OnePlus 9 Pro, in no regard, is a bad smartphone. It’s packed with features putting it right on the table with flagships from brands like Samsung and Apple. OnePlus is trying to be no longer just a cheaper alternative to Samsung’s flagship smartphones and instead become the leading flagship manufacturer. But there are a few flaws which the brand needs to address in order to actually compete in the flagship market.
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